Tuesday, June 23, 2020
I hiked with friends, my surrogate family, Dave and Julie Gilbert. We met over on the east side of town, early, before the day warmed much with our combined seven dogs, plus cameras and iPhones. The Gilberts were about to introduce me to one of their favorite, little-known BLM areas for good hiking and horseback riding.
That place turned out to be as beautiful and inviting as the Gilberts had promised.
We hiked slowly, frequently pausing to admire and discuss the area’s many features. My guides are lifelong hikers who’ve lived and trekked through Europe, Alaska, Colorado, and more places. Years ago they relocated to Bend, and being great explorers became familiar with most of Bend’s nooks and crannies. They are fellow horseback riders and kindly have introduced me to some of their favorite places.
Before yesterday, Dave has been introducing me to the exciting world of hunting wild mushrooms. His wealth of knowledge comes from having experienced and survived many adventures in the great outdoors. He’s currently a volunteer with Bend’s High Desert Museum, writes for its newsletter and lectures on (among other topics) Central Oregon’s moths and butterflies. He and Julie are lifelong partners. They’ve shared many of those adventures and are generous with their knowledge. Julie and I share a love for riding horseback and experiencing fine literature.
The little BLM area they showed me has hills and valleys that abound with desert plants. My phone app identified some plants as Sulphur flowers, Butterballs, and Common wooly sunflowers. The landscape is well-punctuated with impressive Rock formations beckoning viewers to climb and explore. In this area something Dave loves is “one” of his “very favorite” trees.
The Gilberts typically are rapid walkers but yesterday moved slowly while pointing out and explaining the area’s features. We had fun just moseying along those couple of miles, sharing many experiences and ideas, and enjoying our happy dogs.
Dear Friends: It doesn’t get better than absorbing the great outdoors with friends. Diana